Javanese Gamelan


Javanese gamelan's great esteem in the West is partly due to the fact that its music is a highly flexible one for groups between 10 to 25 performers, thus being suited very well for student performance groups. For beginners it offers an interesting introduction without too high technical obstacles, while providing people with a long-term interest an inexhaustible source of potential musical development. Since the various musical parts make demands of differing degrees on the performers it is possible to combine beginners and more advanced players in one ensemble. The particular way of musical interaction, the spectacular form, the unfamiliar sound and tuning of the instruments all offer a wide variety of musical experiences to open-minded Westerners interested in music.

Since 2004 there is complete set of Central Javanese gamelan instruments at the KUG which have been made in 1998 by the renowned gamelan builder Bapak Tentrem Sarwanto from Surakarta (Java). In accordance with Central Javanese tradition the set carries a name, in this case it is called Sekar Rasa Tentrem. It consists of two halves, one tuned pentatonically (sléndro), the other one heptatonically (pélog), and encompasses some additional musical instruments that go beyond the standard range of instruments.

The gamelan is used regularly in classes and for weekly rehearsals of the KUG Gamelan Ensemble that has already successfully completed various public performances with guest artists from Java and Great Britain. New members are always welcome. Prior knowledge of gamelan music is not required.

Kontakt: Prof. Dr. Gerd Grupe    gerd.grupe(at)